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There’s nothing more frustrating than getting a “BURN” message on your Instant Pot after you put everything in and waiting for the dinner. Here in this post, I’ll answer the following questions:

  • What is “BURN” message?
  • What causes “BURN” message?
  • And how to fix it?
Instant Pot Burn message is frustrating! Avoid these 4 mistakes that triggers this warning, plus Instant Pot troubleshooting steps to fix the issue.

What is Instant Pot BURN message?

Instant Pot BURN message is a safety mechanism put in place to prevent burning food. It happens when Instant Pot is overheated and it basically shuts off the cooking.

Again, this doesn’t mean your pot is on fire, or in danger.

What causes Instant Pot BURN notice?

There’re 4 main reasons that trigger this warning:

  1. Not enough liquid
  2. Use too thick sauces
  3. Not deglazing the pot after searing or sautéing
  4. Missing sealing ring or pressure valve in incorrect position

Let’s discuss each of these reasons in detail and Instant Pot troubleshooting steps to prevent this issue.

#1 Not using enough liquid

  • Make sure to have enough liquid in the pot. Thin liquids, like water, clear broth, are the best.
  • Use at least 1 cup for 6qt and 2 cups for 8qt Instant Pot.

#2 Using too thick sauces

  • Thick sauces and soups like, chili, pasta sauce, creamy sauces like alfredo sauce, chili, etc.
  • If using thick sauces, like pasta sauce, make sure to layer the ingredients.
  • If using creamy sauces, use pot in pot cooking method instead, or add it later after the food is cooked.

#3 Not deglazing the pot after searing or sautéing

  • Burnt food on the bottom of the pot from searing may trigger the warning.
  • Always deglaze the pot after sautéing or searing food, making sure there’s nothing stuck on the bottom. To deglaze the pot, simply add a little bit of water (about 1/4 cup) and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon.

#4 Missing sealing ring or pressure valve in incorrect position

  • Missing sealing ring prevents the pot from coming to pressure and thus evaporating all the liquid
  • The valve is set to venting, instead of sealing!
  • Double check the sealing ring and pressure valve position.

What to do if you get “BURN” notice on Instant Pot?

Depending on what you’re cooking and cook time, there’re 2 ways to deal with this issue.

  1. If you’re cooking something quick-cooking, like an oatmeal, or pasta, AND the pot had reached the pressure (the pressure pin is up), simply turn off the pot and set a timer for the remaining time. Then carefully release the pressure and open the lid, mostly likely the food is cooked as intended.
  2. If you’re cooking something for a longer time, say a pot roast, then you’ll need to carefully release the pressure and open the lid. Transfer the food to another bowl, clean the pot and start over again.

TIP: Get an extra inner pot for your Instant Pot! It’s super convenient, especially if you need to transfer the food to a new one.

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